Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock

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Saturday, 29 October 2005

How does MacOS X (Panther) start ssh-agent?

Dear Lazyweb,

Ever since I reinstalled my PowerBook a few months ago, after I'd put back on all my software (including the lovely SSHKeyChain), I couldn't get the same SSH agent behaviour I used to have.

Specifically, the first time I'd SSH somewhere after logging in (or after awakening the laptop), I'd be prompted (in a nice GUI kind of way) for my SSH passphrase, after which the private key was loaded into my SSH agent, and life was good from then on.

That is no longer the case. I get prompted for my SSH passphrase in the terminal window and on a use by use basis, i.e. the key isn't being loaded into my agent after the first time I get asked for my passphrase.

I think the root of the problem is that my ssh-agent is being started with the -c option (generate C shell commands) when I'm actually using Bash. So, the crux of my question is where the hell does ssh-agent get started from, and how can I change how it is started?

Love and sloppy kisses,

Andrew

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